Reflect on Your Life
1. Describe a time in your life where you wondered why God was allowing certain things to happen, but now you can look back and see how he was working.
Read the Passage
Read Esther 1:12-2:23
2. How did Esther, a Jew, become queen of the Persian Empire?
3. Explain the special service that Mordecai performed for the king.
4. How do you think Esther continued to serve God in her new role as queen of a pagan empire?
5. What do you think Mordecai did to continue to serve God as a palace official?
Realize the Principle
Esther was propelled into a special position of influence with the king, although she may well have wondered about the meaning and purpose of it all. But she kept her faith in God, and later she risked her life for God’s people. Mordecai too continued to serve God even while he served in the palace of Persia’s king. We know that he kept his faith as his top priority, for we find him unwilling to bow before the country’s prime minister because he bowed only to God. God would soon use both Mordecai and Esther in an incredible drama that would end in saving the lives of all the Jews throughout the empire. God could use them because they were useable—they were in tune with God, serving him in their daily tasks. They were already prepared to play their parts and do what God called them to do, no matter what the cost. They had been following God in the “small” steps of faith; so they were ready when it came time to take the “big” steps.
Respond to the Message
6. Describe your situation in life in one of these areas: family, work, neighborhood, community. What reasons might God have for placing you there?
7. What are you doing to serve God in your daily routine in these areas?
8. In what areas are you failing to serve God?
9. How will you begin today to correct these problems areas?
Resolve to Take Action
10. Select an area in your current situation that you can quit complaining about and begin seeing as a training ground for greater service for God.
More for Studying Other Themes in This Section
A. Describe King Ahasuerus’s power in this empire, and his personality.
B. What was significant about a “law of the Medes and Persians”?
C. Esther was very beautiful. How do we know that she also had great inner beauty?
D. God used Esther’s beauty to place her in a position of influence with the king, and she served her people well. What resources has God given you? How can you use them selfishly? How can you use them unselfishly?
E. Esther was chosen by the greatest king in the world to be his queen. She seemed to handle the honor gracefully. How can a person gracefully handle being chosen for special honor? How can we honor God when we are honored?
F. What kind of responsibility goes along with being chosen for a special honor?
This study is adapted from Ruth & Esther: A Life Application Bible Study (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1989).